Doncaster Knights: Clive Griffiths salutes last-gasp hero after win over Nottingham
Director of rugby Clive Griffiths sung the praises of goal-kicking fly-half Sam Olver when reflecting on Doncaster Knights’ dramatic 16-15 Championship win over Nottingham at Castle Park.
As a goal-kicker himself during his playing career, which included playing both top-flight rugby union and rugby league, Griffiths said he could empathise with the pressure on Olver as he prepared to try and convert an injury-time touchdown and win the game for Knights.
“Thoughts of what happened in the corresponding fixture last season (when he missed a last-minute penalty to win the game) must have been going through Sam’s mind,” Griffiths said.
“But you’ve just got to get into the zone and concentrate on the process and the outcome of the kick and not the outcome of the match and that is what he did.
"His kicks throughout were all on the money – he kicked four from four – and he won the match for us.
“The result could change the whole complexion of our season and the win has helped take some of the pressure off us.
“ We have pulled further away from the team at the bottom and closer to the teams above us.”
The game got off to a sensational start with the visitors scoring a try in the first 15 seconds.
“We took a while to recover from that but we gradually got our way back into the game with three much-needed penalties by Sam Olver and we led 9-7 at the interval.
“We had the opportunity to level up the (try) scoring when Lloyd Hayes made a long break but we messed that up.
“We were patchy and we weren’t as good as we were the previous week up at Newcastle.
“It was good play from Cam Cowell to create the space for (wing) Howard Packman but it still took some finishing but that is what he can do; he is a big strong lad.”
Second-rower Morgan Eames produced a hard-working display on his return to the club’s starting line-up following a neck injury.
“We revved Morgan up during the week and he did well against his old team but there were a couple of our big players didn’t play to their full potential,” added the Welshman.